Are you panicking because your website is driving fewer sales or conversions? The first thing you’ll need to do is open up your analytics tool and start digging into the issue. This article will talk about some of the key things to look for when your website stops performing.
What to consider when you look at your web data is the fundamental of the web performance equation. The equation is:
[Traffic x Conversion Rate] x [AOV] = Revenue
Traffic x Conversion Rate = Orders
Orders x AOV = Revenue
This is a pretty universal equation for digital marketing and e-commerce.
If your problem is that the revenue is declining, then you’ll need to take into account of the AOV (average order value) impact.
Let’s start looking at the impact of the key metrics, and see how we can diagnose the issue breaking it down by ‘traffic’ and ‘conversion rate’.
Conversion drops because of lower web traffic
One main reason your orders are down is due to the fact that the site’s traffic is down. Traffic of your website could be impacted by many things, but if you’re in Google Analytics or similar tool, the first thing to look for is what traffic source you’re seeing the decline is coming from.
Look into channel report and see which bucket of traffic is declining. Then Look into which source and medium are causing the traffic to decline. If you’re paying for advertising, look into if there is any issues with your ads or campaign set up.
There will be times where traffic sources aren’t an issue as overall traffic is not down at all. In that case, you’ll need to look at the traffic from the perspective of user behavior. If you have a marketing funnel, then look at the funnel and see if there are any major changes in traffic within the funnel.
In Google Analytics you can use the reports within Behaviors and Conversions section. Start looking at the traffic pattern and see if you have any traffic drop off that could be impacting the traffic going into your cart. That would definitely lower your conversion rate and a number of orders.
Conversion drops because of lower conversion rate
In your web analytics tools like Google Analytics, you would usually set up goals that you want to track. When you set that up, usually the tools is able to start reporting on conversion rate (# of goals occurred divided by the traffic). Using this conversion rate metrics, you can use that to see if particular sources of traffic are causing a lower conversion rate. Usually, you’ll compare the data from different date ranges, like a month over month, or current week vs. last week and such.
Some the key reports to dig into where the conversion rates are dropping is.
- Funnel report
- Goal flow
- Channel and source/medium report
These are the basic reports, but sometimes you make changes to websites (i.e. adding a link that may take away users to another page away from shopping cart or flow). In such case, you need to dig into if people are going from certain page to another page. In such case, you can use the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, and chose a page and look into Navigation Summary. If you see that more people are going away to another page that doesn’t matter than you may have an impact and explanation to why your conversion rate is dropping.
Average order value (AOV) is declining
When you’re looking at the revenue decline, and realize traffic is not declining, and conversion rate hasn’t changed, then you may have a decreasing AOV. When you’re AOV is declining, the number of orders is decreasing, and that could mean few things.
- People are ordering items at a lower price point
- People are using promo/discount codes more so than prior weeks
- People are buying fewer number of items within a transaction
More people are visiting a product page with a product at a price point fewer than the average price sold
In many cases, this issue is less about your website unless the traffic is lead to a page with the product at a lower price than average.
So hopefully, this gives you a basic understanding of how you could approach analyzing data once you start seeing the conversions go down. Don’t panic, just go into your web analytics tool like Google Analytics and follow the steps I mentioned above. More advanced users will look into more strategic and tactical things, but this is probably a start.